BlubberBusters Tips from Lucy

Break the Overeating Habit

Does this sound like you?

"While watching TV late at night or while doing my homework, I always seem to find myself munching on a salty snack. I am still full from dinner...yet it always seems to be the same thing every night. I try to stop. It is too hard to change!"

If this sounds like you, you may be overeating out of habit. You know that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may have even figured out the feelings that trigger you to overeat. Now what? How do you break the habit? Read on for some clues to get you started.

  • Make a journal to jot down whenever you eat out of habit. Maybe it is while you are on the phone or computer. Maybe it is late at night or after school. Or, maybe it is just on the weekends.

  • Use the information from above to plan activities or fun things to do. Keep your mind distracted so your habit will not pop into it! You may come home from your activity proud that you did not even miss your regular snack!

  • Make a new rule: you can only eat at the kitchen table. You must also be sitting down. This rule can make it harder for you to follow through with the overeating habit.

  • Keep certain habit foods out of the house. Ask your family to not buy them or keep them around. If you cannot get them to do that, tell them to hide the foods from you.

  • Keep plenty of nutrient dense low calorie snack food around. Some to try include pre-cut baby carrots and celery with salsa. Keep these foods in the very front of the fridge. When you go to do your overeating habit, you will see these first!

  • If you like to eat in front of the TV, keep plenty of books, puzzles, and hand games for you to grab instead. If you can keep your mind busy you may not remember to get your habit snack.

  • Keep a food journal. This can help you to remember you do not need the food just because. Writing the food down can help you not want to eat it.

  • Plan to go on a walk or bike ride when you usually eat out of habit.

  • Make a new rule: for every TV commercial, see how many jumping jacks you can do.

  • Always have a bottle of water or flavored water around. Try to change your mind to get in the habit of drinking instead of eating.

  • Be patient! It can take 20 to 30 days to form a new habit. Remember, you have had this overeating habit for a long time. It will take time to change.

  • P.S. The overeating habit is similar to the habit of biting your nails - both are ways of relieving tension.  How do you stop biting your nails?  You hide the nails under gloves or bitter nail polish, and you find better ways of relieving tension, like walking.  Thus to break the overeating habit, hide the junk food or better yet don't have it in your house, and... take lots of walks!

Make this a healthy week!

  (Click here for past week's tips)


Please ask your healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.

Home Pre-Teens Teens Parents eCare